Saturday, August 9, 2014

Afternoon with Bud

Finally made it out to the big lake this year. Me and Bud went out for a Friday afternoon sail. Winds were projected to be steady and around 10 mph all day (at least earlier in the week), but the morning projections were looking like 7 decreasing to 5 by the late afternoon, but we decided to risk it anyway. We packed a lunch and left the marina around 1pm. Winds on Lake Muskegon were light to nearly nonexistent with occasional small breezes and we slowly puttered our way across the pond, watching a sunfish regatta over on the west side. Eventually we gave up sailing and put on the motor to head out to check out the conditions on the big lake. Much better once we left the channel, with a steady breeze out of the north and we got our best sailing in on a trip about due west, getting up to about 5 and a half knots, and eventually ending up about 4 miles offshore. We broke out the 'robo sailor' for much of this trip, and ate our lunch. Once we were virtually the furthest boat out there, we turned around and headed back on a similar reverse tack. Sometime around halfway back to the channel, the winds started picking up, and we reached our probable top speed of around 6-7 knots, at which point I was starting to get a little nervous that we were overcanvased (the sails were straining and we were doing a pretty good heel on a beam reach). We doused the headsail and continued for the last mile or so on just the main. We ended up seeing the ferry boat pass us on both the return to Muskegon and then again as it exited the channel for Milwaukee. We were able to sail about halfway down the channel with both sails back up, but then again, it switched to too much wind, and then just as quickly changed direction so it was straight at our noses, so we hauled in the headsail once again and motored the remainder of the channel. Winds were once again very flukey on Lake Muskegon and in just the wrong direction to head back to the marina so we tried a few tacks back and forth, but it was very difficult sailing, and eventually put all the sails away and headed back to the marina via the motor. Got tied up and tidied up the boat around 7:30. We both got a fair amount of sun this afternoon, and I slept like a baby once we got home.

We had left the battery on since the last time we were here (on 1), so I started the engine on battery 2, and then switched over to one while we were motoring to charge it back up again. Made sure to turn everything off this time before we left.

Using my mapping software on my phone, I took a screen shot of our location just before we turned around (pictured below). The GPS wasn't working (batteries were dead) so most of our speeds were estimates. I may have to look into some GPS apps and maybe some charting apps for my phone for future reference.

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